Deer hunting dates set at DeSoto, Boyer Chute Refuges

Details regarding DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge deer hunting opportunities were recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The entire DeSoto Refuge between Blair and Missouri Valley just south of US Highway 30 will be open for two antlerless deer hunts on Dec. 7-8 and Jan. 4-5, 2020. The refuge-wide Boyer Chute season for antlerless deer will be Dec. 14-22 just east of Fort Calhoun.

All three hunts are muzzleloader only.

Nebraska residents will need to purchase either a Statewide Muzzleloader Permit or a Season Choice Wahoo Unit permit to hunt DeSoto on Dec. 7-8. Just the latter will be accepted to hunt Jan. 4-5.

Nebraska hunters interested in the DeSoto hunt must also email Park Ranger Peter Rea (peter_rea@fws.gov) to inquire and potentially receive a refuge specific access permit with hunt specifics.

Iowa residents, meanwhile, can apply for the DeSoto hunt by dropping off — or emailing — a card with their name, address, phone number and the requested hunt weekend included on it.

A Sept. 1 drawing for Iowa hunters will be made if needed. The December and January hunts will only require antlerless licenses that are specific for the DeSoto hunts and will not count against the hunter's take, according to the Wildlife Service release.

All hunters — including Nebraskans and Iowans — must possess a DeSoto NWR Hunting Regulation Access Permit for the antlerless hunts. They are free and can be obtained online (fws.gov/refuge/desoto/), at the visitor center or by contacting Rea.

An Oct. 1 through Jan. 10 archery season is also available at the DeSoto Refuge.

Hunters interested in the Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge hunt in December will need a Season Choice-Wahoo or a state-wide muzzleloader permit, which can be obtained through the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. They'll also need an access permit, which will be available during the hunt at the main entrance gate.

The Boyer Chute Access Permit is also available at fws.gov/refuge/boyer_chute/.

Big game permits are now available

Nebraska big game hunting permits became available Aug. 5 and can be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis through the end of the big game season, according to a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission release.

The available permits are comprised of buy-unit, forfeited draw and unsold draw permits. Residents, nonresidents and eligible landowners may purchase remaining deer permits, while residents and eligible landowners may purchase the remaining elk and antelope permits.

The available permits list can be found online at outdoornebraska.org. Interested hunters can click “Buy a Permit” and then click “Remaining Permits” for the information.

Commission reminds fishermen time for white bass, wipers

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reminds fishermen and women that mid-to-late-summer provides some of the best opportunities to catch white bass and wipers in the state.

A recent release states that the two fish will “chase baitfish toward the (water) surface, usually early and late in the day.” The anglers can spot the fish when boils on the surface are present, baitfish are jumping out of the water and through frenzied gull activity above the surface.

Summer white bass and wipers, typically, can be found in large reservoirs where the large open-water predators thrive. Fishermen can go online to outdoornebraska.gov/fishingforecast/ for more information on where to find the best fishing opportunities in Nebraska.

— Staff reports

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